Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Mega Democracy for Mega Rawk

As Megadeth embarks on tour in support of its 10th full album, The World Needs A Hero, the band will be approaching smaller venues with a unique opportunity from frontman Dave Mustaine. Concertgoers will be able to choose which songs the band will play for each show.

Through online voting at local radio websites, fans are allowed to select from a pool of 30 songs for the performance. Mustaine and the rest of the band felt the need to give something back to their most loyal fans.

The World Needs A Hero is an effort that showcases Mustaine’s aggressive rock vocals with Al Pitrelli’s highly volatile guitar that thrashes like a pissed-off hit man. Adding founding member David Ellefson’s masterful bass and Jimmy DeGrasso’s drum set, the complete recipe for one of the last true hard-rock bands is in place.

Despite returning to the raw metal sound that made Megadeth popular, the tour does not reflect the work promoting their Sanctuary Records debut album. But if you love the band’s work from the past, certainly check out this great new album. The Herald recently spoke to Pitrelli from his hotel room in Lafayette, Ind., to speak about fans, Garbage and problems in Asia.

Badger Herald: How do you feel about playing in Wisconsin?

Al Pitrelli: I really enjoy playing there. The history there has been good.

BH: Are there any memories that you have about Madison that stick out in your mind — is there a strong fan base here?

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AP: I always like going to that popular steak place and hotel down by the lake. I hang out with a few of the guys from Garbage at Montmartre. [Megadeth] usually has a good time. The fans are great too.

BH: Are there any groupies that make your time worthwhile here?

AP: Actually, I’m happily married.

BH: With regard to your new interactive concerts, do you consider yourselves rock pioneers by enabling fans to pre-select each concert playlist?

AP: Megadeth has always been pioneering different aspects of hard rock. Dave [Mustaine] and David [Ellefson] continue to push the envelope in terms of the band and technology like the Internet and our website. Plus, it gives us a new experience every night. The production manager doesn’t post what songs we play until just before we go onstage.

BH: Do you feel that the smaller venues on The World Needs A Hero Tour enable you to connect at a deeper level with your fans?

AP: Actually, it really does, and as I mentioned before, it really creates a different atmosphere. It’s great because we get real sweaty, the fans can feel it, and everyone really becomes part of the show. It does make it easier to get beer thrown at you, though. If you want to buy me a beer, just give it to me.

BH: Who is the biggest slacker of the group?

AP: If anyone, it’s me.

BH: It’s good to see you survived the summer in Asia. How crazy of a time was it there?

AP: Yeah with the typhoon, mechanical problems with the plane, and everything else, it was pretty wild. But, it all really pales in comparison with what happened on Sept. 11. I had a friend in New York that died, my old trainer. My wife lives there. The bombing really makes you think. It really starts to give new meaning to some of our songs like “Holy Wars.”

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